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Science consulting: helping out a scriptwriter

Posted by on March 13th, 2016

During my years in New York, I unexpectedly experienced an interesting form of science outreach. I randomly met a film director at a party, Sasha Collington. This director explained to me that she needed the help a biologist to work on her new script. I accepted right away for three reasons. First, curiosity. Second, because[…]

Frontiers for Young Minds: A New Resource for Budding Scientists

Posted by on December 17th, 2015

Sara M. Szczepanski1,2, Amanda M. Baker3, Robert T. Knight1,2 1Department of Psychology, 2Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720 USA, 3Frontiers, EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland   About six years ago, Dr. Robert Knight, the founding editor of Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, was attending a meeting regarding the future direction of the review[…]

Talking about Science using Comics: A Stem Cell example

Posted by on August 28th, 2015

  “A Stem Cell Adventure” is a comic book about stem cell research, and resulted from a project on science outreach carried out by several researchers at the Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology of the University of Coimbra, Portugal (, and funded by the COMPETE Program and the Portuguese science communication agency (Ciência Viva).[…]

Going LIVE with your Science Communication

Posted by on March 19th, 2015

Heather Hendrickson (Senior Lecturer in Molecular Bioscience, Massey University)   I have had my personal ups and downs with live performance. I was 4 years old when, convinced I was a dance prodigy, my enthusiastic whirling became frenetic and I flung myself directly at my grandmother, landing in a humiliated heap at her feet. Despite[…]

Outreach activity: The Disgustovision Show, a most gruesome microscopy circuit

Posted by on March 2nd, 2015

How do you build a fruit fly circus? First, you’ll need a glass tank. Its size will obviously depend on how many fruit flies you want to perform – or on what tank is hanging around in the department. You’ll also need a small circus tent, circus benches made from fresh apple slices, a sand arena,[…]

Reaching out – the many faces of science outreach

Posted by on January 20th, 2015

This Spotlight was first published in Development.   The days of the solitary scientist toiling away within the isolation of the academic ivory tower are something of the past. This is not only true when actually doing science, as projects become more collaborative and global, but also when considering the relationship between scientists and the public. Science outreach is something that most[…]

A cuddly science outreach project

Posted by on November 27th, 2014

2010 was declared the International Year of Biodiversity by the UN. At the Science & Culture Department of Montpellier University, which has designed science outreach and public engagement projects since 2000, we wanted to mark the occasion with an original project. We wanted a project that would:     – talk about the methods rather than the[…]

Outreach Program: “Ciencia Al Tiro” (Science Immediately)

Posted by on August 21st, 2014

Ciencia Al Tiro (Science Immediately) is an Outreach program developed to encourage interest in science and technology. Our inspiration was to help the situation of education in Chile where there is an extremely large difference in the quality of education among schools. According to an OECD assessment of student performance, Chile has the largest gap[…]

Microscopes 4 Schools: hands-on microscopy for children

Posted by on July 16th, 2014

The moment I really got fascinated by biology was when, aged 16, I saw a water flea’s heart beating in a school lesson. Up until that point I liked the subject but had never been really excited. Labelling the parts of a flower or an eye was fine, but not thrilling! I was discussing my[…]

Outreach Activity – Smartphone to Microscope Conversion

Posted by on May 6th, 2014

Development is a fascinating process that few people have a chance to see, let alone photograph! We recently participated with other scientists from the Crick Institute at a Science Museum Lates in London in February. For our activity, we built these inexpensive platforms that convert a user’s smartphone into a microscope screen. We provided zebrafish[…]